Skittles and the first NFL football game of the season accompany me as I write this overdue update on my treatment. I've been lucky enough to run into many of you around town at grocery stores, target, restaurants, school, gym, etc. I'm "enjoying" phase 3...the freedom of time off from treatment and the blessing of feeling well. This phase is set up for 4-5 days inpatient and then 10 days home/off (for 8 weeks). While the inpatient hospital stays aren't my favorite, the time off is so sweet and reminds me what life was like before my diagnosis. With no dr's appointments or treatments our days are so deliciously normal. We were told that this phase would be the easiest, so I'm soaking up every bit of it. I'm getting better at packing for the hospital. Books, headphones for my Netflix binging and blocking out the noise, healthy food from home, & weights for working out have all become my must-haves.
I've described several times through my updates that energy is always on high demand and usually short on supply, leaving me with next to nothing left once my 3 little people are tucked in for the night. This is still the case 95% of the time. Writing these updates can be therapeutic, but also so draining. Honestly, I haven't felt that I've had the emotional energy to write until now. I'm learning that the mental toughness needed for this journey is harder to maintain than receiving the treatment. It's often an hour-by-hour battle, that on most days I'm able to win :) I've had some very hard days of course. They come when I physically feel like crap and I seem to come undone. But by the grace of God, most of my days are wonderful. I have enough energy to be an active wife and mom. I may not always feel the best, but I don't find myself hanging over the toilet. I have aches and pains, but not enough to keep me still. Ya'll...these are all HUGE BLESSINGS. As I'm constantly surrounded by cancer and it's precious victims, I become more and more in awe of how blessed I've been with this process and my good health, both physically and mentally. I can't predict the future or the next phase of treatment which is called "delayed intensification" (yikes), but I have high hopes that I'll muscle through it. I always have the goal of surprising my Dr. with strength and determination.
I'm in my 5th month of treatment and still receiving the sweetest, most thoughtful cards, care packages, and meals. I've been horrible with thank you notes, but please know that I am so very thankful from the bottom of my heart. Time is going quickly but there is still much more treatment to receive and goals to crush. I love and appreciate every single prayer and positive thought for me, and ask that you keep them coming.
Thank you all for riding this crazy ride with me. It's a roller coaster for sure, but I'm learning some really important life lessons along the way. As my favorite author Christine Cain says: "It is possible to develop relentless faith so that the next time life throws us a curve ball - which life most certainly will - we are able to bat it out of the park and still live the adventure he's planned for us. And maybe we'll even live a version of the adventure that's beyond what we could ever have hoped or imagined".
I celebrated my 33rd birthday on Tuesday. Amongst the mess, I enter this year with a heart full of joy and excitement for every wonderful day to come. I'm not fearful or worried about this year or the next, because fear and worry no longer live in my heart & soul. They are mere unwelcomed visitors that come and go. Thank you to all of my family and friends who fill my life with love and laughter. I sure am lucky.